Few people really understand the meaning of user experience. And even fewer individuals are able to design a good user experience. If it is really well done, we actually don’t even notice it. But we will feel that all is good and well, we will establish trust and develop positive feelings for the brand that will know how to warm our heart with its digital communication.
Personally, I first perceive user experience from the aspect of the user, and only later from the aspect of developer or editor. If you will step into the shoes of your users, it will be easier for you to find problems and bottlenecks in your website.
I checked some Slovenian flagships (from different industries and different – let’s call them so – levels of difficulty) and found out that most will fail at the mere basics. The point is that the basics – which I will mostly overlook as a user, if they are done correctly – hide much more. They define how your existing or potential users will feel when using your interface for services or product purchases. And the user’s feeling is the decisive factor for the individual making the conversion or not.
Below I am presenting 6 mistakes that will improve the experience of your users IMMEDIATELY after being eliminated.
1.) Annoying and non-intuitive cookie notify pop-up window
Dear friends, think of mobile devices! Because you still didn’t optimize your cookie notification for phones. I can’t close the notification, and even less is it pleasing to the eye and convincing me to allow your cookies. I would like something that won’t prevent me from using your page; if communicated in a pleasant way, you won, and I will click “Allow”.
2.) Aggressive and repugnant promo pop-up window
Ok, seriously, I surfed to your website for the first time. I don’t yet wish to receive your e-mails and I DON’T WANT a 20€ discount for something I don’t need. I don’t know you yet! Don’t launch annoying popups following the logic of first visit of the website, or even worse, the principle of
<show popup on every reload>. When I see this, I will surely speed away from your website, especially if the contents are not (really really) good and designed to solve my specific problem.
Even Google doesn’t like annoying popup windows and will, as of 10 January 2017, begin to sanction websites using them. You can read the news here.
3.) Entry fields in forms without validations
Let’s get back to our inquiry form. Imagine you will shake your potential customer out of their boots and make them weak even before they get to really know you – when entering their sensitive personal data. A dream? Actually not, as this is not difficult to do. Add »real-time confirmation«, »real-time validation«, add colour marks to fields to tell the user that they didn’t make a typo when entering their email address and that the data they entered are correct.
I dare to estimate that you can enrich all your forms with these improvements in only five hours of development, using an open library. I am sure users will notice it/them and pat your shoulder from time to time.
p.s.: Please don’t click our form, we didn’t implement this yet. Mea culpa. #smartass
4.) Too small typography on mobile devices
I am on my mobile phone. I can’t see a 12-pixel text on my iPhone, although a few days ago my ophthalmologist said I have eyes like a hawk. The characters should be at least 16 pixels large, because I am reading your article while walking to the store, or in the car when the traffic light is red.
5.) You invented your own navigation standard
Your website navigation should be like the wheel – we have known it since the 4th millennium B.C., but it still fulfils its original purpose! Why? Because IT WORKS! So please, your logo (top left) should have a link to your home page (index page). This should be followed by important subpages that the users should read first.
Don’t hide the navigation, don’t put it into a pull-down menu (except for mobiles where I really don’t wish to have all 6 pixels occupied by a gigantic submenu listing all items offered in your online store).
The navigation shouldn’t be too extensive. You know your branch best, you are specialists. I am sure you can segment the contents into smaller units of landing pages where I will easily find and scan your contents. And – Google will love you better too. So please, follow the navigation standards that were shaped over the years.
6.) I can’t find your contact information in 3 seconds
Please place your contact information in an obvious and visible spot. A mass of searches on mobiles occurs because of the need for contact information. Add your phone number, address, or at best – Google Directions. Personally, I am usually in the car, in one hand your website, in the second a too late snack, and in the third the steering wheel … the third?
Please, don’t forget that even on the internet we are still people who would like to hear another person, or talk personally and obtain the required information (this varies depending on the branch).
Build on the good practices of large players
I understand and know that there are quite some obstacles in user experience optimisation. If you aren’t hindered by the lack of know-how, staff or time, you will be almost certainly hampered by the financial aspect. UX consulting swallows quite a large chunk of funds.
I suggest to not start searching hand over heels, and grab the first one who boasts about their mastering of UX; you and your team should first build on good, proven and working practices. Look at the large players, the mobile applications of Facebook, Instagram, etc. These are companies investing millions into the feeling of their users. I am sure you will make a step in the right direction.
When adding new functionalities, build on the end user. Even if this is only the registration to your newsletter – don’t be careless and throw the button into a corner where a few pixels are free. Better think deeply what message you wish to communicate and achieve in the given moment. Step into the shoes of users, so they will really wish to submit their personal details as you will become their coolest digital friend.
And an advice for the end: try to solve real problem situations by optimising the user experience. Try to enrich user experience. A good example is our website (#justsayin), where you can see how much time it takes to read our interesting blog posts. In this way, we solved a serious problem – your time pressure, because you will really start reading only if you have a full 7 minutes of time.